Farmers of Granville County, North Carolina
CAPT. J. B.
(Front cover of pamphlet)
"North Carolina, or Bust."
From extensive travels and impartial observations made in no less than fifteen States of the Union, we have several years since settled down in the honest conviction that no where on the American continent is there to be found so many and inviting inducements to the searcher after health, happiness and prosperity, as are offered by "My own, my native State."
To enumerate the natural advantages enjoyed by the people of our section, and especially in Granville, Orange, Person and Caswell counties, would be to monopolize the entire space of the TORCHLIGHT for many years to come. We need only say that our climate is continental in its scope and gives our productive capacity a range by which we may duplicate the products of almost every State in the Union.
Here, during the last few years we have witnessed a most marvelous development in the transformation of our tobacco into "a thing of beauty." Here is produced the finest grades of tobacco in the known world; the products of a single acre frequently reaching from $500 to $600, and often selling for from $1 to $3 per pound. Nor are the soils adapted to the successful growth of this fine tobacco circumscribed by narrow limits, as was formerly supposed. There is scarcely a farm containing 200 acres in the counties above named, upon which this tobacco cannot be made a profitable crop. We are in the centre as it were of this fine tobacco section, and no where else has the ingenuity and industry of man been able to produce its equal.
This tobacco is exclusively used by the largest manufacturers of smoking tobacco in the world, and the natural excellency of Granville, Orange, Person and Caswell tobacco has given to W. T. Blackwell & Co.'s Durham Smoking Tobacco a reputation never before equaled.Instructions as to the Cultivation and Curing of Fine Yellow Tobacco.
A noted cook on being asked for a recipe to cook a hare, commenced by saying: "first, catch your hare!"
To raise fine Yellow Tobacco, first, grow your plants! Burn and sow during the first dry season after Christmas, the Yellow Oronoko. Select a Southern exposure, a warm situation, for early plants. Use any standard Tobacco fertilizer, when sowing the seed, 100 to 150 lbs. to the 500 square yards, according to the fertility of the land. Hog-pen or hen-house manure is the next best for plant beds. Stable manure should not be used as it breeds flies. Make frequent applications of either, hen-house manure or other fertilizer of known value--only, when the plants are not wet with rain or dew. Grey soils, with dry, porous subsoil, the fresher the better, are best suited to the growth and maturity of yellow tobacco. From 100 to 300 lbs. of fertilizer may be profitably used to the acre. Apply in the drill, except on new-ground, where it is best to broadcast. Plant in hills, as soon after the 1st of May as plants and seasons will admit. Commence cultivation as soon after the first rain as the plants have taken root. This gives them a start; but this working should be light--only with the hoe. Continue to stir the land with the plow and sweep, until the tobacco begins to come in top. If the sweep is used, there is but little need for hoe work.
Topping must be done according to the appearance and promise of each plant, strength of soil and time the work is done. First topping for medium tobacco, should be from ten to fourteen leaves, priming off lower leaves, just high enough, so that when the plant ripens, the lower leaves may be well off the ground. As the season advances, top lower and lower, as to advance the late plants, that they may be cut before frost. Never cut before fully ripe, and enough fully and uniformly ripe to fill a barn. Cut the tobacco of uniform size, color and quality, putting eight plants to a stick. Get the plants to the barn as soon after they are cut, and with as much care as possible. Place the sticks about eight inches apart on the tier poles.
The first step in curing, is called the steaming or yellowing process. Medium tobacco will require about 36 hours steaming, at about 90 degrees Fahr., but tobacco with more or less sap, larger or smaller, may require longer or shorter time to yellow. Here judgment must be exercised.
The next step in curing yellow tobacco, is called fixing the color. When the tobacco is sufficiently yellowed at ninety degrees, the best leaves of a uniform yellow, and the greener ones of a light pea-green color, the heat should be advanced gradually. Keep the heat from ninety to ninety-five degrees about one hour, then run up from ninety-five degrees, to one hundred degrees, keeping the heat between these figures for about two hours. Should the tobacco get into a sweat at this or any future stage, raise the fires a little and open the door. This creates a current of heated air that will soon dry out the leaf. The thermometer may fall even ten degrees here without injury to the color. If possible, keep the tobacco from sweating. Next, advance the heat running from 100 to 105 degrees for about two hours. When at 105 degrees, you have arrived at the most critical point. The condition and appearance of the tobacco must be the guide.
Too little heat in fixing color operates to stain the face side of the leaf of a dull Spanish-brown color, and is called sponging, and may be known to the novice by its effects being visible only on the face side; too much heat reddens the leaf, first in spots, visible on the edge of the leaf, redder than the former, and visible on both sides of the leaf. Now to prevent sponging on the one hand, and spotting on the other, is the aim of the experienced curer. Therefore no definite time can be laid down to run from one hundred and five to one hundred and ten degrees. Sometimes one hour is sufficient, sometimes three is fast enough. The same may be said in running from one hundred and ten degrees to one hundred and twenty degrees. While it is usual to advance in this stage about five degrees every two hours for medium tobacco, the condition of the tobacco often indicates to the practiced eye the necessity for slower or faster movements. Remember not to advance over one hundred and ten degrees, till the tails begin to curl up slightly it the ends.
Crops of Granville
We publish actual figures obtained from gentlemen, whose post-offices we also give, and who will take pleasure in corresponding with any parties who may be attracted by these reports:
Mr. B. F. HESTER, Oxford, N. C., sold of last year's crop 800 lbs. leaf tobacco at sixty cents per lb.; 1,500 lbs. at forty-five cents per lb; has cured this fall fifteen barns--average weight 500 lbs.: has cured tobacco for fifteen years with wood and coal, and never lost a barn by fire; thinks most barns are burned by allowing the rock of which the flues and furnaces are constructed to touch the wood work, or logs of the barn; prefers the cupped sheet-iron flue; thinks it safer and cheaper; estimates cost of flues at $10 to $12 per barn, though regulated by the price of iron; uses brick in preference to rock--350 will build the furnace and flues to one barn; wants the body of barn "as tight as a gun-barrel"; ventilates at top and bottom, opposite the point where the flues enter the furnace; thinks the draft of air at this (dangerous) point lessens probability of fire. Again, ventilates at top by means of long plank secured by means of hinges; long pole attached to this by means of which plank can be raised or lowered at will. When cured, packs in wind-rows, leaving butts out; never takes tobacco off stick after it is cured until ready for market. Wants pack house as "tight as a drum," if possible, and "dark as a dungeon." This house is 18x30 feet; two floors, each eight feet pitch. Two windows and two doors below; one door and two windows on second windows have shutters attached to expel light here and to furnish light when picking. Expenses of present crop not over $200 paid out for labor; employs colored labor; treats them kindly; pays them promptly and when they fail to comply with their contract settles with them and they are told to "git up and git." By adopting this rule (and it is understood when he hires them) he avoids all difficulty with them, each party simply "agreeing to disagree." Is reducing quantity of commercial fertilizers used every year. Pays attention to saving and composting home-made manures, which he used this year in combination with six bags Peruvian Guano on 30,000 tobacco hills. Thinks well of Gilliam's fertilizers; has used both with satisfaction. Does not use hog-pen or cattle manure on tobacco; has tendency to make tobacco brittle and tender; will "scald" more easily, owing to large quantity of sap produced; leaves break off more easily when handling; thinks hog-pen manure better for melons; uses on plant beds if free of cobs. Uses Gilliam's fertilizers on plants. Thinks stable manure should not be used on plant-beds as he is confident it breeds flies. Owns and manages 1,200 acres of land; one-half of which is in original growth, one-quarter in second growth and broom sedge, balance cleared. The soil is a light sand, with yellow subsoil, and is slightly undulating and flat; well watered by good springs and branches; situated four miles West of, and extending within two a half miles of Oxford. Well adapted to all the crops raised in this section of the State. In curing tobacco runs heat to 180 degrees--the pith in the stalk is not thoroughly dried at less heat. Thinks this "cooks out" the green tips and changes to yellow color. While curing leaf, thinks the danger of failure lies more in running too slow than too fast. Selects for fine tobacco land such as grow chinquepin, whortleberry (black) and sour wood; if any rock, white flint. For litter uses pine and wheat-straw--only enough to keep stables dry. Pine-straw is preferable.
Mr. B. F. HOBGOOD, Oxford, N. C., lives at the old homestead with his father J. B. Hobgood, Esq. and manages the farm. Cured 39 barns this fall, and will average 550 lbs.; thinks one-fifth of which fancy. Thinks well of Gilliam's fertilizers; uses them on their new ground and Peruvian Guano on old field, the latter in connection with home-made manure, in drill, at the rate of 40 to 50 lbs. to 1,000 tobacco hills. To make fine yellow tobacco it must yellow on the hill. Burns plant land in January or February; gives the young plants frequent and light dressings of fertilizer; plants are doing well when ground is green from fertilizers. Works colored labor; has no trouble with them. If they fail to comply with their contract, they are paid up and discharged. Gives employment to 20 hands, and 10 horses. Lost 3 barns last year by fire. Uses wood obtained in cleaning new grounds, seasoned oak and hickory. Consumed fifty cords of wood in curing present crop. Carelessness in putting wood in furnace, whereby brick or rock are displaced, causes most fires. Prefers the double return flue covered. The Smith patent is only used. (Smith and Bowden both claim to have introduced the pipe flue.) Bowden uses one furnace; his flue is not used. Lot tobacco is better than new ground this year. Two hands will pick four tiers. Best to have light from the North--is more steady. Hands accustomed to have the light fall over the right or left shoulder cannot pick as well if their position is changed; hence there is never any squabbling among pickers for each other's seats. Often never puts tobacco on stick after it is picked. This depends upon the tobacco and weather. Mr. Hobgood, Sr., has obtained several premiums at various agricultural fairs, for the finest yellow tobacco, when the competition was very great. Never put tobacco stalks on tobacco land unless rotted in horse stable. They produce the flea bug: besides, they retard the early growth of the plant. Plows up tobacco stubble with cultivator by running two furrows. Then the hoes follow and knock the roots. The wheat is put in with cultivators. We never saw wheat put in with as much care and so beautifully done. The land looked as if it had been passed over by a machine made for the purpose of leveling it as well as plowing it. Corn crop cut off one-third; estimates crop at 150 barrels. Harvested 350 bushels wheat. Is partial to the Fultz variety; requires more seed to the acre, as a larger proportion of this wheat is split in threshing than any other. Raises the Gooch or Tilly tobacco. Thirty thousand dollars worth of tobacco (last year's crop) was sold within a radius of five miles, his farm included. Barns, packaging, and packing houses, as well as all necessary farm building, are constructing in the most substantial and convenient manner. Good stock, well kept, and everything indicates being directed by good judgment and skill. Evidences of thrift and plenty are met one very hand.
Mr. R. G. CHAPPEL, Tally Ho, N. C., is from Wake county, and has been accustomed to the cultivation of cotton. Thinks there is much money to be made in raising fine tobacco. Has refused an offer of $400 for present crop. Worked only himself and one horse.
JNO. R. KNIGHT, Mt. Enercy, N. C., worked himself and one hand in the present crop. Cured five barns fine yellow tobacco--average weight 450 pounds; one bale cotton (500 pounds), 40 barrels corn. Wheat crop on low grounds and nearly ruined by freshet. Before freshet thought it good for 100 bushels; only saved 22 bushels. Never bought but two bags fertilizer. More than twenty years ago, when living near Hobgood's mill, bought these two bags of T. L. Williams, Esq. which he put on wheat land. Used for the first and last time cotton seed on plant beds--16 bushels on three beds. Both cotton seed and tobacco seed came up together; had a better cotton patch than plant bed; the cotton seed "raised up the whole earth," and the tobacco plants perished before they could settle and take root. Cabbage plants sowed in same bed did well. Thinks it would be best to kill the germ of the cotton seed before attempting to use them on plant beds. Though he is "sufficiently amused" with the experiment. Thinks there is no better manure for tobacco than the scrapings of yard. A shovel full of this was put down and hills made upon it. Beats stable manure where hand full was put in hill. Prefers rock flues. Heat is more regular, and tobacco cures more uniformly all over barn. Can sleep half night while curing. Has always hung tobacco in pack house before this year. Has this crop bulked down in curing barn with raised floor. Unless the air can circulate between the ground and floor the tobacco, when bulked, will become injured by white mould. Will hang, to come in order, as wanted to strip. Owns 150 acres: one-half in original growth--hickory, oak, and ash. Has white oak trees "sixteen years around" and 100 feet to the first limb! Often makes bark hickory, pine and gum higher than a man's head when the trees are felled! Has 50 acres low grounds on Beaver Dam Creek which he has just commenced clearing. Thinks it pays to keep two good horses to make a one-horse crop. A man can kill a horse by work, but a horse can not kill a man in the same way! Lost one barn by fire this season. He is a hard working man, a good manager or his farm and a most worthy citizen.
MESSRS. HOBGOOD & HUNT, Oxford, worked this year two hands eight months, and two horses. Expense of labor $112. Cured 12 large barns fine yellow tobacco; average weight 600 pounds, or a total of 7,200 pounds, which, at average price, obtained for last crop, ( $25) is worth $1,800. In addition to this they raised corn, tobacco best. Ten years ago these lands could have been purchased for $5 per acre; their market value now may be put down at $12 per acre. Tract contains 150 acres, equal portion being in original growth, old fields and cleared.
MR. MEDICUS MORRIS, Wilton, N. C., manufactures tobacco. Time and attention is divided between farm and factory. Has not cultivated "the weed" for the last five or six years. Lands are finely adapted to wheat, oats, corn and potatoes. In 1875 averaged for evry bushel of wheat seeded 27 bushels. Is confident of 20 bushels to every one seeded if he can put it in during the month of October. Finished this year on the 16th. Dug and measured this fall 100 bushels of potatoes to the acre; land that had been cleared four years, soil red gravel, unimproved. Raises bacon enough for family use. Lands finely suited to clover and grasses.
MR. MILLINGTON BLALOCK, (Granville Greys) Berea, Granville county, N. C., who upon his return home at the close of the war, applied himself to farming. Two eyes, two hands and two feet, were the capital he started with. Worked on shares four years. Then he bought 120 acres of land with no improvements on it, at $7.50 per acre. Since which time he has not only paid for his land, but has built a fine dwelling and every necessary out-house, all of the most convenient and substantial model. Indeed his place is as convenient and well arranged, as any in the county; all paid for and could sell the place for $25 per acre. Has cured this fall 15 barns yellow tobacco at 10 to 14 leaves; is partial to high priming. For a crop of tobacco prefers corn land rested one year. Does not do well after wheat. Uses three kinds of flues; likes Blalock's (his own invention) best. This flue consists of a pipe (12 inches) as Smith's, running in a drum at farther end of barn. Drum made of sheet iron, oval shaped, extending across the barn, returning with two smaller (8 inch) pipe. Made 130 bushels wheat. Not partial to an oat crop. Good plow teams and other stock. Corn crop was well cultivated, but suffered from drouth. Thinks the farmers' Friend plow the best he ever used. Peruvian Guano mixed with Gilliam's or chemicals (equal parts) and applied in the drill is a good dressing for tobacco. Peruvian Guano mixed with stable manure, say 30 or 40 pounds guano to the thousand hills and full single hand full stable manure the best compound he ever used; the guano starting and manure finishing it. Yellows better than any other. Has lost no barn by fire.
MR. SAM'L. C. HOBGOOD, Oxford, N. C., with three hands and three horses 24 barns yellow tobacco. Each barn will weigh 600 pounds or more. Putting the barns at 600 pounds, we have 14,400 pounds. In addition to this, he harvested 150 bushels wheat, 100 barrels corn, 250 bushels oats and killed 3,000 pounds pork. Last year worked two hands and two horses. Sold his crop of tobacco for $2,800. These figures only represent the products of his home plantation. At the close of the war, his estate was valued at $1,200. Since which time he has built up an attractive and well-arranged dwelling, stables, barns, packing-house and all necessary farm buildings, all on the most approved plans, and of the best material and workmanship. Owns 850 acres of land, all paid for.
Has money at interest. Owes no man. Never bought a barrel of corn since he has been farming. Sells corn every year. Last year sold sixty barrels of corn. Raises his own supplies. And in addition to all this, has a happy home, composed of a most amiable wife and eleven interesting children.
Now if any one doubts anything in the above report, they are invited by Mr. Hobgood to go to his house and see that it is "even so." We can assure any "Doubting Thomas" that a visit to Mr. Hobgood's place will be time well spent, and they will meet a most cordial welcome.
MR. R. T. STONE, KITTRELL, Granville County, worked in last crop 3 hands and 2 horses. Cured 3,600 pounds fine yellow tobacco This was his first experience with flue curing; succeeded admirably, and so soon as he gets fixed to take care of a crop of yellow tobacco we expect to hear of his getting very high prices, for his land is well suited and he has the industry and good judgment to handle it successfully. Corn crop, 35 bbls.; wheat was ruined by smut, seeded eight bushels, and harvested only sixteen.
The year before averaged 12 1/2 bushels to every bushel seeded. Cotton, nine bags, 600 pounds of which paid his fertilizer bill and $75 paid for labor. Farm contains 140 acres; situated on R. & G. R. R., 3 miles North of Kittrell. Sold pork and raised some supplies. A portion of his tobacco crop has been sold at $80 per cwt.
W. H. BOYD, ESQ., Townesville, Granville Co., has quite aspettlement on his plantation, the census taker will find 80 or 90 reasons here to enumerate.
We reached this hospitable home about dusk, and were told that all the children would be present during the evening. From those then present we concluded that all the children of the neighborhood had met there in the capacity of a Sunday or Singing school, but Mr. and Mrs. Boyd are too (justly) proud of their children to let this impression possess the stranger long, and we were soon told "all of these are my jewels!" We counted twelve, but, as they were all full of fun and in and out room in such quick succession, we felt that we might be in the predicament of the old negro, who fed his master's hogs and was required to count them every morning, reported on one occasion that he "counted all but one, and he run so fast he could not count him!" This is truly a happy family, both parents and children are boys and girls together.
Gives employment to 30 hands and 12 horses. Paid out for fertilizers $150. Thinks the Anchor Brand the best for tobacco. It pays to use this liberally. Tried rolling cotton seed in fertilizer not so good as to apply in drill. There is more profit in working share hands than renters, and still better to hire. Cleared over $100 to the hand hired last year, and expects to do better than this as last year was his first experience in flue curing tobacco. Sold part of this crop, second quality at $30 per cwt. For several years past has "slipped up", on red tobacco, sunk money in trying to "fight it out on that line." When red tobacco was king, he made as much as $5,000 per year on tobacco and cotton. We believe he will do this again with yellow tobacco. The cost of cultivation and fertilizer for an acre of red tobacco is $25, and at present prices "can't[" ]get your money back." The cost of an acre in cotton is $12.50, an average profit at 10 cents per pound for cotton would be $20. The cost of flue curing, counting extra trouble, wood, etc. would be $50 per acre. Result of last years croping: 17,550 pounds fine flue cured tobacco, 18 bales cotton; corn, 477 barrels (no guess work,) but for drouth would have made 750 barrels; 600 bushels of wheat, 1,250 bushels oats, and good crops of peas and potatoes. Pork to sell.
Owns 1,650 acres of land all in one body, including 600 to 700 acres of bottom lands; between the two Nutbush creeks and west of Little Nutbush creek, two miles on Big Nutbush on east side, on west side, one and a quarter miles beyond Little Nutbush, with dwelling situated in centre.
On 200 acres of this land there is a natural growth of apple trees, many of which produce fine fruit, which are often found on the ground, covered with pine boughs late in the winter and early in spring, in a perfect state of preservation.
Uses a covering for plant beds--wheat straw--light covering. Keeps a regular account book, in which are recorded all expenses and receipts, as well as results of experiments and birth of children.
A hand can assort and strip 25 to 30 lbs. yellow tobacco.
CAPT. S. SATTERWHITE, Henderson, found himself at the conclusion of _____ the with nothing save his land and stock, but with a heart to do and ware, he was only a short time in recuperating his lost fortune. Last year he worked four hands and three horses, cost of labor and fertilizers, $432. Results: 9,450 pounds fine tobacco, 75 barrels corn, 130 bushels wheat and (small crop) 250 oats. Tobacco crop is a superior one, very large and heavy.
His time and attention is divided between farm and STEAM MILL, capable of grinding 75 to 100 bushels corn, or sawing 4,000 to 7,000 feet lumber per day. Employs five hands when sawing; miller is engineer when not grinding. Grinds only two days each week, engine is twenty-five horse power. Mill house and sheds are covered with tin, and everything is kept in best possible condition. Owns 935 acres of land. Saw mills have been within striking distance of his lands for the last 30 years and very large quantities of pine lumber has been cut, until the present supply is limited.
The share hands on his lands produced 4,500 pounds flue cured tobacco, 62 barrels of corn, 77 bushels wheat, and 45 bushels oats.
Has never fed ashes and salt to his bogs, consequently has lost a great many with worms, more generally called hog-cholera.
MR. W. H. GREEN, P. O., Williamsboro, Granville Co., worked self and his three boys and three horses; made 5,500 lbs. fine yellow tobacco, 75 barrels corn, 70 bushels wheat and 100 bushels oats, besides other small crops. Present tobacco crop is the best he ever made, and his average for former crops has been $30. The only outlay upon this crop except for plows and other farming implements was for ton of Fertilizer, $51. The Farmer's Friend plow is his favorite of all plows he has ever seen at work. Four years ago he had the misfortune to have his dwelling burnt. Since then he has rebuilt. Pack house and other farm houses have recently been built, all first class.
Tobacco crop at former prices, (and it will sell for more) will bring him $1,650; corn crop at $4, will be $300; wheat crop at $.50 is 105; oats at 75 cents per bushel, $10. To say nothing of his pork for family use, and other small crops we have a total of $2,175 made at an outlay of less than $75. This farming will compare favorably with that of any section in America, and there is room enough in the country for 10,000 farmers, who can do just as well, if they will come here and exercise the same push and good judgment.
In reading the description given by Col. William Byrd, of Westover, in 1728, of a Mr. Kinchin's farm located in Northampton county, we could but apply the same remarks to the plantation of
BALDY A. CAPEHART, ESQ. Kittrell, Granville Co., and we can do no better than to quote the words of Col. Byrd of a century and a half ago: "It is an observation, which rarely fails of being true, that those who take care to plant good orchards are, in their general characters, industrious people. This held good in our landlord, who had many houses built on his plantation, and every one kept in decent repair. His wife, too, was tidy, his furniture clean, his pewter bright, and nothing seemed to be wanting to make his home comfortable."
On the first of December, we were at our friend's house and were shown by him the winter Nelis pear in excellent keeping condition and delicious. We were informed by him that there is not a day in the whole three hundred and sixty-five and a quarter that the family are not supplied with fruit of his own growing. His orchards are laid off in plats and numbered; a record of which he carefully preserve. Standard pears are planted 10 feet each way, and dwarfs in checks between which at first appear to be too much crowded, but the dwarfs only last ten or twelve years and leave room for standards. Dwarfs should be planted a little underground; hill up high, and many will take root above ground and make good standards, (from dwarf plantings) The Sickle stands first among the pears of its season, and in this climate grows to greater perfection than anywhere in the known world. His favorite pears are the Sickle, Flemish Beauty, White Doyenne, Dutchess D--, Bartlett, Vicar of Wakefield, Lawrence, (late keeper,) Clapp's Favorite (similar to Flemish Beauty,) and Triumph (French) But, of the later pears introduced into our section, and yet very rare, are the Beure Bosc, Urbanite, and Dana--the finest of all fruit, especially the first named. The earliest variety he has is the Osborn Summer and thinks it worthy of the best attention. The Winter Nelis is the best for winter. The Lawrence is the next best keeper. We saw them in perfection on his table, Dec. 1st. After the Osborn, for a Summer pear, he regards the Bousock the most valuable--this is a later pear.
Apples claim his favor in the following order: The old-fashioned May, Early Harvest, Red Astrachan, Summer and Autumn Pearmain, (this above all others,) Maiden's Blush, Summer Sweet Paradise, and Sweet Pippen. Regards the Wine-Sap as the king of apples for early winter and even spring use, if well cared for. The Albemarle Pippen originated in Albemarle county, Va., and it has been contended that it would not grow to perfection outside of this location. We saw perfect samples of them as also the Pilot and Smoke-house, all of which he was the first to introduce in this section. They are beautiful and good keepers. Thinks in every orchard there should be a limited number of these three last named varieties.
Of the peaches that have done quite well, he names the Beatrice, Louise, and Hale's Early. But would recommend for our own section as the next best and earliest varieties, the Early Tillarston, Large Early York. Nobless and Crawford's Early--while it will be safe to plant largely of the Heath-cling, Old Mixed-cling, Norris' White and Saddler's late Yellow. But last and best, Madame Eaton.
Cherries are valued in the following order: Our common Black-hearts, Little Honey-heart, Knight's Early Black, Waterloo, Tekumpsey, May Bigarew, Napoleon Bigarew, May Duke, ond Ox-heart. Thinks this as complete a variety as could be wished; only adding the never failing old Morilla for preserving.
Upon the grape question our friend is eloquent! Has bougt no wine for ten years past. Makes several barrels every year for family use. Mixed grapes make the best wine. His wines have been pronounced by Foreign Ministers, Presidents, Governors, Senators, and other less personages, noted but equally good judges, as not inferior to the best imported. Thinks the general production of home made wines would do more to prevent drunkenness than all the temperance movements ever put forth. The Concord, Ives' Seedling, Hartford and Clinton, equal quantities, make a choice wine, in a few years equal to any imported Claret or other kinds. Three-quarters (3/4) of a pound of sugar is used to a gallon of the juice. The Ives' seedling, Concord, Hartford, and Martha, with abundance of the natives, Catawba and Scuppernong, will furnish a family through the grape season, and wine for family use.
The original Scuppernong vine from which the present stock is said to have been taken is located on Roanoke Island, in or near the Albemarle Sound, N. C., and is reported to have been discovered by Sir Walter Raleigh in the sixteenth century. This vine covers over one acre of ground and is assessed to produce over 2,000 gallons of must in one season.
There were produced on his farm this year, the work of 17 hands and 9 horses, 700 barrels of corn, 400 bushels of wheat, 300 bushels of oats, 10,000 lbs fine yellow tobacco, 70 stacks of fodder, 6 tons of hay and 24 bales of cotton. Home-made manures were largely used; only four tons of Commercial Fertilizers entering into tills account. Has 25 acres in clover and grasses. Is partial to Orchard Grass. Thinks clover mixed with grasses is a freaky crop; the clover will disappear and return about every third year. Hay should not be cut before the seed is ripe. The grass is softer and more nutritious when ripe. If cut too early the strength passes out; must mature to make good hay; when cut green the sap, passes out leaving woody fibre. Never grazes until cold weather sets in. In the spring rakes off trash and droppings, carries to farm pen where it is "worked over." On the lots where his hay is cut all rocks are removed by hand.
Since 1862 he has not bought for table use over 100 pounds of bacon, 2 barrels of flour and one barrel of meal--and then under peculiar circumstances. Thinks the Osage Orange tree should be more generally cultivated--the wood will last as long as a brick.
The beauty of his yellow tobacco is only exceeded by that of his two pet apples, the Smokehouse and Lady's Finger.